NEW DELHI: While India has rejected allegations that its former naval officer, arrested in Pakistan, is a RAW agent, cracks began appearing in Islamabad’s claims on Saturday with even Iranian President Hassan Rouhani dismissing them as a rumour. It seems Pakistan has fabricated documents on the retired naval officer, Kulbhushan Jadhav, and leaked them without realising glaring loopholes in the same.
A section of the Pakistan media, quoting Balochistan officials, reported that Jadhav was arrested from Chaman border near Afghanistan but officials in Islamabad contradicted it, claiming he was arrested near the Iranian border. India has asked for consular access to assess the facts but Pakistan so far has not agreed to it. Government sources said Jadhav owns a cargo business in Iran and had been working out of Bandar Abbas and Chabahar ports. “It appears that he strayed into Pakistani waters. But there is also a possibility that he was lured into Pakistan sometime back and fake documents were created on him in desperate attempts by the ISI, which is facing the heat after its several espionage modules were dismantled in India recently,” the sources said.
Another official in the security establishment also said Jadhav, who owns a small ship, may have been trapped by Pakistan authorities after they came to know of his background. They said it could be a planned operation to fabricate documents and later show the arrest from Chaman. Meanwhile, Iran President Hassan Rouhani, who is visiting Pakistan, refuted claims of the Pakistan army that its chief General Raheel Sharif had discussed the alleged RAW involvement in Islamabad’s internal affairs with him. His response came after the Pakistan army media wing claimed that General Raheel Sharif had discussed the issue of RAW’s involvement in Balochistan with him. Literally snubbing Pakistan, the Iranian President termed RAW involvement in Balochistan a rumour. “I have heard this more than 20 times. Whenever we become close to Pakistan such rumours come up. We have brotherly relations with Pakistan. We also have a good relationship with India, thus there is no problem,” he said at a press conference.
Pak Probe Team to Arrive Today
Pakistan’s joint investigation team on the Pathankot airbase attack will arrive here on Sunday. India plans to provide the probe team access to all witnesses in the case but not security personnel from the National Security Guard or the BSF. On the eve of their arrival, official sources said India will also press for the visit of its probe team to that country for carrying out investigations there.
The sources said the five-member delegation led by Chief of Punjab’s Counter Terrorism Department (CTD), Additional Inspector General of Police Muhammad Tahir Rai will not be provided complete access to the Pathankot air force base but to limited areas where JeM terrorists were engaged in an 80-hour gunbattle with security forces. The Pakistani team will be brought to the airbase in a special plane. The airbase will be visually barricaded by the NIA to prevent any view of its critical areas.